Over the weekend, Adele was due to play two sold-out shows at Wembley stadium as part of her final tour. Combined, the audience would be over 100, 000 people, who had most likely been pretty stoked about seeing the singer perform live. Adele, however, unfortunately had to cancel both shows, because she had damaged her vocal chords. The singer released the below statement on Twitter ahead of her shows.
The singer was reportedly ‘devastated,’ that she had to pull out of the show, tweeting ‘To say I’m heartbroken would be a completely understatement’ in the early hours of Saturday. The thing is, these two shows were, and would have been two of the biggest shows of her already incredible career. They were being filmed for her concert DVD, and were particularly special for the singer as she had recently expressed the two performances might be her last on tour.
The fundamental problem here isn’t that Adele had to cancel, it’s the backlash she’s now facing because she put her own health first. Fans took to Twitter to express their anger at the star for putting the shows on pause, which is warranted. Some had shed out hundreds of pounds on travel and accommodation to see the singer, and that in itself isn’t cool. No one can afford to lose out on hundreds of pounds with such short notice, especially if the type of event had been organised as a special occasion whereby you had saved for months on end.
Yet taking it one step further and calling our Adele for her ‘unprofessional’ work ethic and ‘foul mouth’ with ‘zero class,’ is just uncalled for. Adele got sick, something that can happen to anyone, at any time. She got sick, was told not to perform by a medical professional, and made a decision based on her own health. This happens to us all, and it’s something we are unable to control, yet why do we perceive illness as a reflection of bad working ethic? Is it not better for Adele, professionally and personally, to take time out now rather than put her vocal chords through more strain that could result in never being able to sing again? Why are we tell a woman to ‘man up’ when making a choice based on her health is the definition of manning up. It’s choosing you, and being brave, we should be applauding a woman for understanding her own needs, not the needs of others.
Take Justin Bieber for example. Last night, he performed at the hyped British Summertime Festival in London’s Hyde Park. Bieber wasn’t ‘well,’ he complained about having a cold throughout the performance, this in turn made him forget his lines, or mime them as some claimed. Biebs decided not to call in sick, but as a result of this he may not have given his best performance. Yet why is it Bieber didn’t receive backlash for giving a reportedly bad performance when Adele was slammed for thinking about her vocal chords?
Both situations are complex, and both must have required a lot of thought and consideration, but the underlining message we should be sending out here is that it’s OK to pick your health. Yes, it’s not ideal that thousands of fans lost out on money for travel, it sucks and we can't even begin to imagine how frustrating it must be for all those fans. But making a choice for you, like Adele did, is ultimately the right thing to do in these kind of scenarios. There’s so much pressure on us all to be in top condition at all times, to power through the pain of illness and carry on like workhorses, but we risk making ourselves (and others around us) sicker. You do you, and if you’re sick, think about your options – because there is more than the one that means struggling into work to only be sent home again.
And in slightly more uplifting news, let's take this moment to applaud the fans that showed up to sing to Adele at Wembly anyway. YOU GO GUYS.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.